Shooting/drug trafficking

Two people are facing drug trafficking charges following a shooting at a Buford hotel in south Hall County on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020.

Deputies with the Hall County Sheriff’s Office responded to reports of a shooting in the 4900 block of Bristol Industrial Way, where they found the victim, Carlos Ruben Lopez, 32, of Flowery Branch, on the ground in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn Express & Suites with a gunshot wound to his side. A woman who said she was the victim’s girlfriend, Alana Jo Latimer, 33, of Gainesville, was by Lopez’s side. 

Hall County Fire Services personnel responded and transported Lopez to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Latimer was later transported to another area hospital when she began displaying symptoms of a drug overdose during an interview about the shooting. Investigators recovered suspected illegal drugs and approximately $2,000 cash from Latimer. They also found suspected drugs while  processing Lopez’s clothing.

After obtaining a search warrant for the couple’s hotel room, investigators found approximately 340 grams of heroin, more than 400 grams of a mixture containing methamphetamine and more than $5,000 cash. The estimated street value of the drugs is $142,000.

Deputies arrested Latimer on Friday, Jan. 1, 2021, following her release from the hospital. Lopez turned himself in after leaving the hospital and was booked in at the Hall County Jail on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021. Each suspect is charged with trafficking heroin, trafficking methamphetamine, possession of heroin with intent to distribute and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. Lopez also had outstanding warrants for his arrest for obstruction of an officer, entering auto and probation violation. 

The couple has been uncooperative in the shooting investigation, and there are no leads at this time.

— Staff Reports 


Deanna Allen has more than 15 years of experience working for print and online media publications, from starting out as a community reporter to working her way up to evening editor and copy...

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